BRIAN!!! can't believe i ran into him here! And AJ. :)
I took the 10am bus from Vang Vieng to Vientienne....it was funny, I booked the VIP bus - but turned out that there weren't enough people for the VIP bus to go, so they put me on a mini-van. At first, I was not pleased by this. I was looking forward to the more open space of the bus, instead of being jammed into a van with 13 others. BUT - it ended up being great. The ride was not that bad & it actually got us to Vientienne faster than the VIP bus would have.
I headed off to my hotel - the Malou Namphur (I think that's right) & got myself settled in. Then, the FUNNIEST thing happened. I decided to head out to explore since I only had today & tomorrow morning in Vientienne & when I walked into the hotel lobby.
Lunch on the Mekong with Brian, Maz & AJ.
...guess who was sitting there?!? BRIAN from Luang Prabang
. It was SOOOOOOOOO cool to see him again! :) He had been traveling with a new friend of his, AJ, AND he knew a local woman, Maz - so she was showing them around town. Next thing you know, I'm off with all of them in a car to some market. SO. COOL. :) Brian and I had a great time reconnecting & AJ was HILARIOUS - seriously stand-up comedian material - so it was so much fun to get to hang out with all of them!!!
After our trip to the market, we stopped at a restaurant on the Mekong for some snacks and LEMON JUICE. YUMMMMMM! It was so refreshing & delicious I can't even do it justice.
That's the Mekong & how low the tide was!
We had some great converstaion, some yummy snacks & then we had all agreed to meet up for dinner later in the evening. They all went back to the hotel, and I went to get my last massage in Lao (do you notice a theme here?) I went to this very fancy schancy place & then I realized that I really did not have enough kip to last me for the massage, dinner & getting to the airport the next day! BUMMER. SO - I figured out that I could afford a foot massage - so that's what I did. As I was getting the massage - the weather took a major turn. The wind started picking up like crazy & it was clear that there was going to be a HUGE rain storm. It was nuts - RIGHT when I finished with my massage & started walking back, the rain started to come - and MAN, the lightening in the background was INTENSE.
Last day in Vientiene....getting in my tuk tuk to take me to the airport!
I started running back to the hotel. A tuk tuk pulled over to give me a ride - but I got a bit nervous since it was covered in water & it was all metal. Just didn't seem like the smartest thing to do in a lightening storm. SO, I continued to run. As I was running I even had people shouting at me to be careful. I was actually a bit scared - it sounds funny to write about now - but it was like I saw the headline, "Girl about to go volunteer in Vietnam gets struck by lightening on her last night in Laos". ANYWAY - I did end up eventually taking a tuk tuk - one that was made of wood & didn't have as much water inside & made it back to the hotel in one piece. After I got back, the rain got EVEN harder. I haven't seen a rain storm like that in SO long! It was NUTS!!!!
So, after the rain died down, I met up with Maz, AJ & Brian as we agreed. Another friend of Maz's was there - this guy named Steve. He is from New York, but has been living in Laos for the past 5 years. Such a cool guy AND if you own a Lonely Planet for Laos, he's actually in there as a contribuing author. Very cool stuff.
It turned out to be a great last day in Laos & I still can't believe I ran into Brian again!! What a TREAT! :)